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2015-04-10 digital edition

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April 10, 2015  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

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Just a nosh...

British Reform rabbis propose online service to make same-sex matches

Reform rabbis in Great Britain are launching an online matchmaking service aiming to make it easier for gay and lesbian Jews to find Jewish partners. The website, which will cater to gay and straight Jews, is the initiative of Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi of England’s Movement for Reform Judaism, and other Reform rabbis acting at the behest of English same-sex couples, according to the Religion News Service.

Unlike in the United States, where many Reform rabbis perform interfaith marriages, British Reform rabbis will only marry couples if both partners are Jewish.

“Jewish gays live in a niche religious community. They are a minority within a minority. If they want to remain Jewish, it’s even harder for them than other gay people,” Janner-Klausner told RNS.

Visitors to Israeli park turned away for carrying chametz during Passover

JERUSALEM – Visitors to a public park in Israel were turned away because they carried food that was not kosher for Passover. The security guard at the entrance to the park in Afula, in northern Israel, was checking visitor›s bags for weapons and for chametz, according to reports. Visitors found to have chametz in their bags were not allowed into the park. Several ate their sandwiches outside the park before gaining entry.

The Afula municipal park is a public facility that serves the residents of the city and its environs, and so the public is asked to refrain from bringing chametz into it during the holiday, as is customary in many other public institutions,the municipality said in a statement. Israeli law prohibits the display and sale of chametz during Passover. Chametz also is prohibited in hospitals and other public institutions.

Chicago’s first Jewish mayor, Rahm Emanuel reelected

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won reelection in a runoff. Emanuel, a former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, handily beat challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Emanuel, the first elected Jewish mayor of Chicago, had failed to win more than 50 percent in the first round of voting on Feb. 24, forcing the runoff.

The incumbent had raised at least $15 million for his campaign, with much of the investment made in television ads designed to prop up the mayor, who had abysmal approval ratings just last summer. In one ad, Emanuel appeared in a sweater instead of his usual business suit, and admitted he sometimes rubs people the wrong way.

In 2010, he visited Israel to celebrate the bar mitzvah of his son, Zach, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Emanuel is the son of an Israeli doctor who moved to the United States in the 1950s.

St. Pete resident, one-time Obama Jewish liaison, launches bid for House

Eric Lynn, a former liaison between the Obama presidential campaign and the Jewish community, is running for Congress in Pinellas County. Lynn, a 36-year-old Democrat, launched a challenge last week against Republican incumbent, Rep. David Jolly, in the district that stretches from St. Petersburg to Dunedin.

Jolly narrowly won the district in a special election in early 2014 following the death of longtime incumbent Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young and faced no opposition in the 2014 general election last November. The district favored Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

Lynn is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School and is a member of Congregation B’nai Israel. He now works locally as a defense industry consultant.

In 2008, Lynn parlayed his role getting out the Jewish vote for Obama into senior advisory jobs, first at the State Department and then at the Pentagon.

Lynn once served as an intern at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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